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Veteran Advisor

Blending out real bad corn

My eyes are tired this morning so going with a bigger font.  Hey this week we got in a load of corn. The feed truck driver, Merlin  told Dad that Clarion hauled 13000 bu. of aweful corn up to wesely to blend in with 250,000 BU, of better corn so they could get it to pass grade at the ethanol plant in Goldfield.   I wonder how wide spread this is this year?Wonder what the fuel bill is for all that trucking?

Ray what are you hearing in terms of grain quality? 

THe corn I have been buying is quite variable. You know one load you can tell hasn't been nblended the next will have a burnt smeel and a brownish color.

On the subject of bad corn.  How does an elevator stay in business when they routinley spoil a million + bushels of corn?  Last year they had three whole piles go bad!  How do the patrons let that happen?  Wouldn't you think that either htey have way more margin than any of us can imagine or they are shafting everybody!

As we get to the end of the marketing year are we going to have enough storage or will this kill basis this fall?  

BYW got .4 again last night.  The rain gauge is getting wore out. JR   

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6 Replies

Re: Blending out real bad corn

I think it is very widespread. In a lot of Indiana it isn't even otherwise gradeable damage that's the problem it is vomitoxin.


Huge roblem that will have impact on cash markets all the way into the early part of harvest when they can get enough new crop to blend it off.


Impossible to quantify but poor quality rarely results in higher futures prices.



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Honored Advisor

Re: Blending out real bad corn

Not sure about your last line hardman so I defer to your wisdom.


Just a bit of data, most of the C's are holding a million to be blended off with new corn. Coops in the same boat. EVERYONE out here is going to catch a massive break with new corn in Sept vs. Oct.


Point of interest...this means the basis will have to absorb quite a bit of old corn that has to move as soon as the new is here, kind of making for a bigger harvest than in past years. I guess luckily all the flooding in June helped keep the crop size more manageable!

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Re: Blending out real bad corn

This is my 20th year in the business, and cannot recall seeing this much damaged corn....1993 had it's own set of problems (super low test weight and extreme breakage characteristics)..


My caveat about what we see at the processing plants-----we reject at 10% damage so rarely ever see the really bad stuff at 30-60% damage as they know it won't pass muster....but we rejected 22 out of 502 trucks on Thursday, which is the high water mark on rejections for the year.....we use third party grading that is constantly being cross-checked with samples sent to FGIS, and damage samples come back very close.....anyone that questions our grading we automatically offer to send that sample to FGIS at no charge....but in reality there are few complaints about the grading---just the frustration over having to deal with the low quality and what to do with the corn....


We are hearing our share of horror stories about bins of bad corn on the farm and at the elevators.....Time is correct about the effect it will have on basis.....nobody in the commercial biz wants this bad stuff around by the end of harvest, and new crop blending material will be available a month (or more) sooner this season..


From what I hear recently, those who have been buying damaged corn (cattle feeders and barge loaders) have now taken in way more than their fill and the barge loaders are now struggling to buy enough good corn to blend off, so likely waiting for new crop....


oh what a year!


Ray J

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Red Steele
Senior Contributor

Re: Blending out real bad corn

Yeah, I can see that the local coops are more intent on getting farmers to haul in better corn, too. I was farm blending some damaged corn off earlier, and trying to be right at the 5% mark, and you would have thought I was hauling in 50% damaged corn by the way the grader was acting. I finally had to tell him that the contract called for #2 corn, with 5% damage allowed, and if they wanted #1 corn exclusively, I could produce that, too, for a higher price.


Eventually we talked about it, and I told him that I only had a few thousand bushels to blend off, and about 100,000 to haul and he politely told me they had quite a bit of bad corn to get rid of , and needed better corn if at all possible.


I can see that it becomes a problem if you are dealing with a lot of damaged corn, as it takes a tremendous volume of good corn to absorb the bad, even at 5%, and then this assumes 0 damage on the good stuff.


I think part of the problem going forward is going to be the size of some of the farm bins, and the new challenges this brings to managing grain. I don't think a lot of farmers are up to the challenge of trying to keep a 50,000 bushel bin, and larger, in condition.  Bigger bins, bigger diameters = bigger moisture migration problems.


A few years ago, when I was finishing up a grain storage expansion, with two 15000 bushel bins, a good buddy was over at my place laughing at  my small bins, and bragging about how he had a 40,000 bushel bin, and was going to add another one.


Three weeks later , I was over at his place, and his tune was way different...he was hauling out black corn, taking a huge loss, and my "little bins"  probably did not seem so humourous.


It is like the old adage about putting all your eggs in one basket.....Guess it is my conservative nature to want to spread things out.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Blending out real bad corn

since there is no premium for #1 corn i believe the discount schedule for damage should be stiffer. how many times have you heard, "yeah there was some damage but the coop still took it".  any  damage is too much and it boils down to a management issue. grain in the bin is future money in the bank. do you let your money get moldy? (ok some do!). another favorite of mine is " yeah there was some damage but the livestock still ate it." as if they had a choice! i can only recall one time in my career that the coop shut somebody from delivering damaged corn and that was this year( there could have been others but i am getting old). when i asked the feed truck driver if there was much damaged grain coming in, he said only from the usual suspects. ultimately what we do is deliver a food product, would you put that moldy crn on your plate? d7

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Veteran Reader

Re: Blending out real bad corn

I've always been amazed at how nonchalant elevator managers are about their own damaged grain.  The locations that pile corn outside are the worst.  Many times they don't start working on the pile till July after it's really gotten bad.  One of my local coop elevators hauls down to their terminal location and they have to clean the chunks off the grate with a skidloader and out of the shed before unloading the next truck.  You'd think the pile would be moved first, but that itsn't the way it ever works.  You know it eventually comes out of our pocketbooks.

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